How to Make Your Labor Day Barbecue Vegan-Friendly
Really, you don't even have to buy mock meats to keep your vegan guests happy. Vegetables are plenty of fun and tasty when cooked on the grill. Marinate portobello mushrooms in teriyaki sauce for 30 minutes before popping them on the grill, cooking about four to five minutes on each side and brushing with extra marinade as you go. Serve on whole-grain buns. Soak husked corn on the cob for one hour and then wrap in aluminum foil and grill for 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into quarter-inch slices, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and grill for ten minutes, turning once. Serve with a citrusy vinaigrette. You can even grill kale. Just remove the stems and then coat the leaves in a little olive oil and sea salt. Put the leaves face down on the grill and cook for up to three minutes. Flip onto the other side for another minute or two. Remove, squeeze a lemon on top of the leaves, and serve alongside other grilled vegetables or as the base for a creative salad that includes nuts and berries.
|Ambrosia salad -- definitely not vegan.|
Potatoes may be the stars of potato salad, but vegans won't fail to notice the gobs of egg- and oil-based mayonnaise that hold the stuff together. It will take some thought to supply your vegan guests with sides to complement the yummy grilled veggies you'll be serving, but only a little.
Simple green salads (don't bother adding croutons, as some of them are sprinkled with parmesan or other cheeses), store-bought or homemade kale chips or vegetable chips, fruit salad, plain corn chips and salsa, and vegetarian baked beans (sans bacon) are all awesome options. Just make sure not to try to push jello or anything with marshmallows in it (that means no ambrosia salad) onto your vegan guests. Both contain gelatin, which is derived from animal tissues.
|You can't tell a vegan beer by its cover - better consult the list.|
I know, I know, it may seem that this is getting ridiculous, but I'm not making this up. Some beers, liquors, and wines are made using gelatin, milk derivatives, egg, and even stuff from the swim bladders of fish, called isinglass. To be sure your brew is in the clear, check out this list of vegan-friendly swill.
Hopefully this list will not scare you into wanting to uninvite your vegan friends. If it does, don't be afraid to ask your veg-head buds to help you out by picking up some of the items you'll need to accommodate their lifestyle. Like any good "vegan-gelists," they'll most likely be thrilled for the opportunity to prove to you and all the other guests just how yummy vegan eats can be.
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